A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

New trestle: Wondering about headroom

Written June 14th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

This was the view of the construction site on Cox Creek Tuesday afternoon. (On the second trestle in back, the Portland & Western is building a train in its Millersburg yard.)

The way the construction crew has been making progress, the new railroad trestle on Cox Creek in Albany should be spanning the bike and walking path there any day now.

When that is accomplished, I’m wondering how much headroom there will still be for people on the path, especially if they are sitting on a bike.

Over the weekend I sent a request to the Union Pacific for more information on this project, but so far there’s been no response.

The way I understood this activity from someone who works in the neighborhood, the railroad is building a temporary trestle for its mainline so the existing trestle, old and held up by wooden piles, can be replaced.

The mainline track carries several Amtrak trains a day as well as all the Union Pacific’s freight traffic up and down the Willamette Valley.

But when you see the size of this construction, including the steel girders and the piers holding them up, you begin to wonder whether this is really intended to be temporary. The platform they are building to span the creek and the path is about 50 feet wide.

In any case, it will be interesting to see what happens when the structure is built across the path itself, and whether the path will have to be temporarily closed to public use during construction.

If it’s going to be closed, you’d think the Albany Parks Department would know about it. But as of Tuesday afternoon, the department’s Rick Barnett said he had heard nothing of this project.

So we’ll just have to wait and see. (hh)





4 responses to “New trestle: Wondering about headroom”

  1. Rolland says:

    About the same headroom on the Dave Clark path near Sherman St NE where the City Parks and Rec never seems to maintain the growth in the swale. Better duck on a bike, we have to when walking that area of the path

    • hj.anony1 says:

      Better get that darn tape measure out with photo proof for me.

      Can I get a Side by Side??

      centrist nailed it. “…a question from God occasionally.”

  2. Craig B says:

    When they had a big fire on the wooden trestle near the American River in Sacramento, back in March of 2007, crews replaced 300 feet of it with concrete and steel. I’m very curious about this project as well. I recall two similar projects the UPRR undertook a few years ago. One was just west of Jefferson on an elevated portion of the track approaching the trestle over the Santiam river. And, the other where the mainline crosses over Old Salem Rd. Both projects, it seemed to me, were completed with only a minimal interruption in RR traffic. Quite an accomplishment, from my perspective. Problem being, if you want to know more about how they do this kind of construction, you can’t find much of anything on the Internet. At least, I couldn’t. I appreciate your coverage of this. Thank you. Ever since my childhood in the 50s and 60s, I’ve been an avid construction junkie.

  3. centrist says:

    It’s not pretty, but sturdy. My engineering cohorts always resisted “temporary” because many became “permanary” as attentions chased the next issue.
    The path crosses the RR right-of-way. Under is irrelevant. (Consolidated Freightways , subsidiary of a rsilrosd, had a truck get involved in a serious accident near Siskiyou Summit. Claim of immunity due to right-of-way was denied.
    Railroads have been close-mouthed about plans. Seems they might entertain a question from God occasionally.


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